Music Reviews



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Artist: DATAFREQ VS DANELLATRON
Title: Monumental
Format: 10"
Label: Bomb Shelter Records
Rated: *****
Two years and half after his debut album Datafreq is back with a limited four tracks 10" E.P. titled MONUMENTAL. This vinyl, released under the moniker of Datafreq Vs Danellatron, sees on vocals Danella Hocevar. She's been a vocalist since the end of the '80s with An April March and then with Redhotred until 2001. Recently she started to collaborate with Roger Lavallee (vocalist/guitarist for The Curtain Society). The E.P. contains two original tracks (the cool upbeat synth electro main track and the mid tempo nice "Love's tainted love") plus a Minimal Dansepop Remix of "The Only Place I Go" (already contained on the double vinyl compilation "Rückwärts Im Uhrzeigersinn" released by Das Drehmoment Records and here sung by Danella) and a cover version of Trooper`s classic canadian rock anthem "Boys In The bright White Sportscar" (here it has been reworked as a cool synthpop dancey tune). Check some of the at Datafreq's myspace. For orders you can check the Das Drehmoment shop at www.das-drehmoment.net/Shop.
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Artist: BAIN WOLFKIND (@)
Title: The Swamp Angel
Format: CD
Label: HauRuck! (@)
Distributor: Tesco Distribution
Rated: *****
Inspired by the New York waterfront street gang of the mid nineteenth century (one of the most successful waterfront gangs of the period, the Swamp Angels dominated the dockyards of New York Harbor from the 1850s into the post-Civil War era), THE SWAMP ANGEL is the second full length by Bain Wolfkind. With this one he brings to the lovers of bastard blues-rock a great album: its atmospheres are so dark tha it will be appreciated also by the neo-folk audience. The slow ballads and the mid tempo rumbling r'n'r songs seem coming from the sewer because of the reverb used on the whole mix. Try to imagine a slowed down mix of Cramps, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and Crime And City Solution and you'll have an idea of how THE SWAMP ANGEL sounds. During the '80s/'90s I've been also a Crypt Records lover and I'm used to these sounds but Bain Wolfkind added a certain noir atmosphere that you won't find into Oblivians or Devil Dogs. If you like it raw and slow and you aren't afraid of finding yourself diggin' your own graveyard into a swamp land (... admit, this is a good image, isn't it?) try this album!
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Artist: ALFREDO COSTA MONTEIRO
Title: Épicycle
Format: CD
Label: Etude Records
Rated: *****
One of the most interesting radical improvisers of today's leftfield music, Alfredo Costa Monteiro has performed both as a soloist and as a member of duos and collectives (I Treni Inerti, Cremaster) playing accordeon, turntables and mixers in an unconventional way to say the least. Lately, though, his solo releases have shown an interest in digital manipulation and, my guess, more "composed" forms of mixing. "Épicycle" is a remarkable one-track work, clocking in at 37'37", where Costa Monteiro digitally alters samples of his own voice creating a frightening landscape. An ethereal drone is interrupted by abrupt granulated screams, as if black metal yells were processed by Peter Rehberg in the worst of his moods. The bathysphere of subdued frequencies is slashed and disfigured by layers of bestial laments, and words are slowed down to undeciphrable rumblings. If Henri Chopin's sound poems were turned into black mass summonings, they would probably sound like this. Play loud and never stop the madness.
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Artist: FOSSILS
Title: Waterboarding
Format: CD
Label: Unverified Records
Rated: *****
Hmmmm, my first exposure to Canadian weirdos Fossils and I must admit it's not really a memorable one. Seven tracks, 31 minutes of mostly outdoor recordings drenched in tape hiss. Some screech here, some loose string plucking there. If I'm not mistaken, there's also some dog barking, looped or collaged, which I've found enjoyable (barks on tape are always a must). But seriously, being a country guy, why would I ever want to listen to this again. This is a lo-fi aesthetic that I just don't get.
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Artist: KEPLERS ODD
Title: Strena Seu de Nive Sexangula
Format: CD
Label: Fractured Spaces
Rated: *****
Shame on me, I've missed on a couple of Keplers Odd releases (a cd on Desolation House and a cdr on Pas-83), and am now sobbing in self-contempt. Oh well, I'll make up for that. I also have to add that this cd was released in June, but, besides my awful review abilities, it seems only appropriate to run through it now that there's snow outside. KO are a Gothenburg, Sweden trio formed by Daniel Jansson (of mighty Deadwood, Europe's most underrated power electronics project, and STUG 218), Magnus Moilala (Crest, Crest 218) and Kristina Persson (Viper Trail). Though clad in a dark ambient-ish cover, "Strena Seu de Nive Sexangula (A New Year's Gift of Hexagonal Snow)" is a very physical disc of guitars+amps worship. Downtuned strings and bleeding feedback. What is nice is that, even in the only track featuring a doom riff and strangled vocals (VI), KO are far from being the nth Sunn 0))/Earth copycats which are breeding like rats. The album begins with clean acoustic guitars under which lies a flow of feedback lava, fully outleashed in the core part of the disc. Tracks II and III merge amp abuse with subtler elements (expanded pluckings, almost synusoidal drones) which vary the otherwise monolithic wall of the trio. Track IV is the harshest and arguably best one of the lot, and sounds like late Skullflower covering Organum with electric guitars instead of bowed metals and strings. The fifth piece is an out-there electric blues drenched in northern cold and darkness, as if Hototogisu or My Cat is an Alien were sent jamming among starving wolves. Closing the opus in an almost circular way is a strummed dirge which soon dissolves in electric mist. Out of the (often disposable) contemporary variations of "drones made with real guitars", this is one of those albums which deserve repeated listenings.
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